The Medical Council of Malawi is pleased to issue this revised edition of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, which shall be observed, mutatis mutandis, by all medical practitioners, dentists, paramedicals and allied health professionals practicing in Malawi. The first edition was published in 1990. The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is promulgated by the Council in fulfillment of its functions as outlined in, and in the exercise of the powers vested in the Council by, Part IV, (Sections 10, 11, and 12) of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act, Chapter 36:01 of the Laws of Malawi
This booklet cannot possibly be comprehensive as it is impossible to cover in a single volume all aspects of ethics and professional conduct which health professionals registrable by the Council are expected to abide by. The Council, therefore, advises practitioners when in doubt about ethical aspects of professional problems confronting them to base their decisions on their own consciences or to seek the advice of senior or more experienced colleagues, the Medical Association of Malawi, or the Council itself which may be contacted through its Registrar at P.O. Box 30787, Lilongwe 3. The Council, whose decision is final, will determine the appropriate conduct to have been followed in cases involving areas not specifically covered in this booklet
This booklet is divided into six sections. The first section covers general issues relating to practitioner’s duties and obligations to the public. The second section deals with issues of practitioners’ relationship with colleagues and professional associations. The third section covers matters in relation to practitioners in private practice. Particular attention of the concerned persons is drawn to Section 3.2 which is on “informing the public about practices”. In keeping with the current trends, the Council feels that it is in the public interest for practitioners to make public announcements relating to their practices, such as change of premises, or clinic hours. To avoid possible abuse of this opportunity, drafts of such announcements should be submitted to the Council for clearance before they are circulated to the public.
The forth section discusses advertising at length as this is an important area in medical ethics and professional conduct. The fifth section outlines types of actions which may constitute professional misconduct and may result in disciplinary action being taken by Council.The sixth section deals withmiscellaneous matters such as issues of medical reports, practitioners’ connections with commercial enterprises and professional fees.
Practitioners may express their views, to the Council onany matters covered in this booklet for further consideration
In this code, unless the contrary intention appears:
Every practitioner shall:
PRACTITIONERS RELATIONSHIP WITH COLLEAGUES AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
2.1 Sharing of Knowledge and Skills with Colleagues
Practitioners shallshare developments in the medical field with their colleagues, and do all they can to promote medical knowledge, education and research. They shall, however, avoid any action, which may be regarded as self-praise, and shall not condemn their colleagues or use derogatory language about them.
2.2 Charging of Fees to another Practitioner
In view of the bond of fellowship that exists amongst all members of the profession, no matter where they qualify or practise, it is advisable not to charge fees directly for attending to another practitioner or his immediate dependants. This practice should be extended to nurses. There may be some exceptions to the uniform implementation of this advice. The Council expects practitioners to exercise discretion in this matter.
2.3 Requesting Advice from another Practitioner